Charges dropped against South Beach hotel owner accused of stealing towels from Mango's

Sherbrooke Hotel owner Mitch Novick cleared of petit theft, burglary charges


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Charges have been dropped against a South Beach hotel owner who was arrested last month on accusations that he was stealing dirty towels from Mango's Tropical Cafe, Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office spokesman Ed Griffith confirmed on Monday.

Sherbrooke Hotel owner Mitch Novick was arrested July 28 on petit theft and burglary charges after surveillance video allegedly showed Novick stealing towels from the nightclub.

Novick told Local 10 News that he borrowed the towels, but a Miami Beach police report said that Mango's owner David Wallack didn't give Novick permission to enter his property or take any towels.

Wallack also told police that none of his employees or managers gave Novick permission to remove any towels.

According to the police report, Wallack provided surveillance video from two different occasions in July that showed a shirtless Novick walking inside Mango's storeroom and walking out with a handful of towels.

Novick claimed that Wallack had previously given him permission to use the dirty towels.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office declined to prosecute the case based only on the surveillance video and the business owners' conflicting statements.

Novick told Local 10 News in an email that he voluntarily went to the Miami Beach police station with his attorney just before his arrest and volunteered to give detectives a statement and provide evidence and names of witnesses who knew about his deal with Wallack regarding the towels.

He said the witnesses included employees and former employees who were familiar with the issue.

"At that time, neither of us knew that the agreement to meet at the police station was a ruse to arrest, handcuff and incarcerate me," Novick said. "That morning, after we arrived, the arresting officer stated he was not going to consider the evidence that I was prepared to provide and that I was going to be arrested."

Novick also questions Wallack's relationship with the police station and how it possibly led to his arrest.

"There is clear evidence that Mango's and its principal David Wallack have a special relationship with the Miami Beach Police Department," Novick said. "In the past years, Mango's and Wallack have showered gifts on the police. In recent months, a $10,000 ATV was donated by Mango's to the Miami Beach police, and in previous years Mango's has donated several highly trained and very expensive police dogs to the police department."

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